DE NIRO PLAYS MAD­OFF IN ‘THE WIZ­ARD OF LIES’

New Straits Times - - World -

NEW YORK: For the sec­ond time in lit­tle more than a year, a TV film probes Bernie Mad­off, the fraud­ster-fi­nancier who in 2008 made ex­plo­sive news with his ar­rest for per­pe­trat­ing a Ponzi scheme that ru­ined thousands of his clients at a cost of US$60 bil­lion (RM259.3 bil­lion) or more.

In Fe­bru­ary last year, an ABC docu­d­rama starred Richard

Drey­fuss as Mad­off and Blythe

On Thurs­day, the Wayne County Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner’s Of­fice said the death was a sui­cide by hang­ing. It said a full au­topsy had not been com­pleted.

Soundgar­den played at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wed­nes­day night, and it had been sched­uled to per­form in Colum­bus, Ohio, yes­ter­day at the Rock on the Range fes­ti­val.

Don­tae Free­man, a spokesman for the Detroit Po­lice Depart­ment, said of­fi­cers went to the MGM Grand ho­tel and casino around mid­night in Dan­ner as his ever-trust­ing, un­wit­ting wife Ruth.

Now HBO is pre­sent­ing The Wiz­ard of Lies, which, in marked con­trast, takes a ret­ro­spec­tive tack framed by its sub­ject as he serves his 150-year prison sen­tence. It is a com­plex and pen­e­trat­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of the havoc wrought not just through­out the fi­nan­cial world but also

Crooked Steps

NYT

By within Mad­off ’s close-knit fam­ily. Robert De Niro is Mad­off and Michelle Pfeif­fer is Ruth. Nathan Dar­row and Alessan­dro Nivola are their two sons.

Di­rec­tor Barry Levin­son said: “We weren’t just deal­ing with head­lines. You have to get into the flesh-and-blood char­ac­ters, not just the fi­nan­cial as­pects. You got to get as hu­man as you can: what is the dy­namic be­tween Bernie and Ruth, and be­tween the two sons.”

“A lot of peo­ple had their minds made up about Ruth and the boys, and be­lieve they were in­volved and guilty. I think we do a suc­cess­ful job in dis­pelling that,” said Pfeif­fer.

“We had ex­perts to speak to, sources of in­for­ma­tion so that was all good. I had cer­tain phys­i­cal sim­i­lar­i­ties with him. So, I thought ‘This would be fun to do’. And that was it,” said De Niro, but he did not have a ready an­swer for how he grasped Mad­off.

“In act­ing school, you never ‘com­ment’ on the char­ac­ter you play. You never think, ‘He’s a bad per­son, so there­fore I’m go­ing to do things to make him look bad’. That’s rule num­ber one. You find a way for the char­ac­ter to jus­tify his own ac­tions.” AP

“They never pay, they never pay,” he joked. “How funny I was tonight and I don’t get a penny.”

Brooks stole the show from fel­low Hol­ly­wood leg­ends Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke and Nor­man Lear, with whom he shared the stage after the screen­ing on Wed­nes­day. The four long-time friends star in the film, which ex­plores what makes for a vi­brant, ac­tive life after 90. Non-fa­mous nona­ge­nar­i­ans and cen­te­nar­i­ans are also fea­tured, in­clud­ing a 101year-old com­pet­i­tive run­ner, a 100-year-old pi­anist and a 98year-old yoga teacher.

Reiner, 95, serves as host of the film, in­ter­view­ing his friends Brooks and Lear, along with 95-year-old Betty White and 100-year-old Kirk Douglas.

They said the key was keep­ing one­self healthy and stay­ing en­gaged with life by do­ing what one loved. The film and its sub­jects are vi­va­cious and in­spir­ing.

Van Dyke is still singing and danc­ing on­screen in the new Mary Pop­pins, in the­atres next year. His ad­vice was to “keep mov­ing”. Lear is work­ing on a re­boot of his 1975 se­ries One Day at a Time. Reiner said writ­ing gave his life pur­pose, adding that he had just fin­ished a book called Too Busy to Die. “I just say eat bran,” Brooks quipped. AP

(From left) Nathan Dar­row, Robert De

Niro and Alessan­dro

Nivola.

Chris Cor­nell

Mel Brooks

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